Two questions (string and scale). . .

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by DaPhotoGuy, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. DaPhotoGuy


    Jun 15, 2004
    Omaha, NE
    1. Is 34 inch scale considered "long scale"? I see long scale referenced in some bass string charts.

    2. I'm looking for some inexpensive flatwound strings from my 5 string (34 in. scale). Any suggestions on where to go to get them? Tried Musician's Friend but $34 was the cheapest they had. Not much variety.
  2. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!

    34" is NOT long scale... Its standard scale for bass.

    $34 isn't that bad for bass string...
  3. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    One place that has pretty good variety is Check it out :)
  4. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    True, 34" is the standard scale for bass guitar, but many string companies label their strings intended for 34" scale basses as "long scale". I guess that's because they don't usually have a "standard scale" designation - usually there's short, medium, long, and extra long scale strings.

    The most common string sets that are carried by music stores, especially RotoSounds, are usually labeled "long scale".

    And unfortunately, there is no agreement among string companies as to what specific length each designation describes.......for example, I can use the normal sets of DR's that you find in any store on my Quantum 6 (35" scale), but typical D'Addarios and Ernie Balls come up just a little bit too short. Good thing I like DR's! In addition to scale length, it depends on how much string extends behind the saddles of your bridge. My Q6 has got a Kahler on it, which uses up a little more string length behind the saddles than most bridges, so that plus the 35" scale can be a problem.

    Bottom line - if you've got a 34" scale bass, you'll probably need long scale strings. Even if you don't actually need the extra winding length, it shouldn't cause any problems.

    If you've got an 35"+ scale bass, you'd best measure from where the ball end of the string sits in the bridge to the nut, then make sure any strings you buy don't start to taper off a little short at the nut end of the string.
  5. DaPhotoGuy


    Jun 15, 2004
    Omaha, NE
    THANK YOU Bruce. I just got in my D'Addario Chromes ECB81-5 ribbon wound strings and they say "Long Scale" on the back. I was worried I'd bought strings that wouldn't work with my bass. They also say "soft gauge" any idea what THAT means? If you couldn't tell, this is my first time buying strings for my bass.
  6. I just bought some "long scale" strings for my 34" scale bass (D'Addario) and if I string them through the body, the step winding at the top clears the nut by about 1/16th of an inch. I had already trimmed the end of the string and I thought I had just wasted my money. I wish they would just list the scale length by inches!
  7. DaPhotoGuy


    Jun 15, 2004
    Omaha, NE
    Shoot! ZZounds had the my Peavey listed as a 34" scale neck so I bought the strings. now they don't fit because it's really a 35" scale. DAMN.
  8. jkritchey


    Jul 23, 2002
    Northern Va.
    Apparently, D'Addario considers 34" to be Long Scale. I can only imagine that they do so becasue Long is opposite of short. So if it's not Short, therefore it's Long. :rolleyes:

    I would agree that 34" should be "Standard" or something. Very annoying.
  9. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    I've always understood "long scale" to be equivalent to 34", even though long is pretty standard these days. I guess it's sorta like the way they call the smallest drink size "medium" at Wendy's, or the way the smallest coffee is a "tall" at Starbuck's. I think it dates back to the time when you would see more players using short-scale (30") or medium-scale (32") basses, and nobody was using anything longer than 34". That's not so much the case any more, of course, but the terminology remains.